Gallery receives COVID-19 art grant through NC Arts Council & BAC

Sunset River Marketplace, the 10,000 square foot art gallery in Calabash, NC has been awarded a COVID-19 reimbursement award through the North Carolina Arts Council NC Cares for Arts Program and Brunswick Arts Council.

Brunswick Arts Council’s NC Cares for Arts Program received requests totaling $412,949.60 from 23 Brunswick County organizations. The group’s NC CARES sub-committee reviewed applications and approved awards for $163,737.36. The total amount to fund was pre-determined by NC Legislature at $1.15 per head/population.

The purpose of the grant is to support expenditures made during the COVID-19 pandemic from March 1 – December 30, 2020.

Ginny Lassiter, an abstract artist and owner of Sunset River Marketplace, said, “I am so grateful to North Carolina Arts Council and Brunswick Arts Council for this grant. We were closed for eight weeks and – even since reopening – we have had to severely curtail our programming to meet social distancing mandates. A gallery of this size has quite a large overhead. This grant has absolutely helped us keep our doors open.”

The gallery is currently showing Mark Gordon: Works In Clay, a comprehensive collection of pieces by the well-known Wilson, NC clay artist that includes his distinctive spheres, tumblers and raku urns. The show has just been extended through Saturday, January 23, 2021.

Since its inception in 2002, Sunset River Marketplace has evolved into a community art hub. Lassiter and her staff have hosted multiple fundraisers for nonprofit groups such as domestic violence advocate Hope Harbor, teen shelter Providence Home, and hospice provider Lower Cape Fear LifeCenter. The gallery has also hosted art shows and receptions for two hospice patients whose last wishes were to present their art to the public. For several years, the gallery was a sponsor and provided the venue for Brunswick Arts Council’s annual black tie fundraiser, An Evening of Miniature Masterpieces.

“We are so fortunate to have legislators at both state and local levels who value art and understand the crucial role it plays it the wellbeing of our community. Once again they’ve shown us that they care.”

Sunset River Marketplace caters to both tourists and a growing local community of full time residents seeking fine art for their homes and businesses. Featuring work by approximately 150 North and South Carolina artists, the eclectic gallery is well known in the area for its collection of oil paintings, watermedia, pastels, photography, hand-blown glass, fused glass, pottery and clay sculptures, turned and carved wood, unique home décor items and artisan jewelry.

There are two onsite kilns and five wheels used by the gallery’s pottery students. Art classes are currently being offered on a limited basis. Call the gallery for details.

Special COVID-19 Notice: To meet North Carolina State mandates, Sunset River Marketplace requires that patrons wear face coverings and requires the use of hand sanitizer plus six-foot social distancing between gallery visitors and at the cash register.  The gallery staff conducts thorough cleaning of surfaces upon opening and closing and during the day and has placed complimentary hand sanitizer throughout the gallery for visitor use.

The gallery address is: 10283 Beach Drive SW, Calabash, NC 28467. Hours are Monday – Saturday, 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. For more information, call 910.575.5999 or visit the website at Daily updates are available on the gallery’s Facebook and Instagram pages.

The FrameCenter, located within the gallery, is open Wednesday through Friday, 12 noon – 5 p.m. and by appointment. Call framer Louis Aliotta directly at 910.368.7351.

About N.C. Arts Council

The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s long-standing love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in annual direct economic activity. The Arts Council also sustains diverse arts expression and traditions while investing in innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education. Learn more at

About Brunswick Arts Council

The mission of Brunswick Arts Council is to support, sustain, enhance and cultivate the arts in Brunswick County making cultural events, arts education and appreciation of the arts available to the diverse range of county residents. Learn more at